I remember as a little girl disobeying my mother & her sitting me down & making me write “Obedience is better than sacrifice” in a single line, all the way down the page. Today, I’d like to refresh our memory on why obedience is truly better than sacrifice & exactly what that means for us in today’s world.
King Saul was instructed by God, through the prophet Samuel, to kill all the Amalekites, including men, women, children & all animals. Nothing was to be spared! Instead, of following God’s complete order, Saul decided to “improvise” God’s order & spared the Amalekites King (Agag), as well as the best of all the animals. Saul decided that partial obedience to God would suffice & that instead, he would offer the Amalekites’ calves as a sacrifice to God.
How many times do we do this very thing? God asks us to do something & instead we “improvise” His order to better suit our needs, wants or desires.
There are times when God calls us to do a very hard thing. Sometimes the very dream He’s given us, He asks us to lay aside for a season. We may not understand why, nor the timing, but if we truly trust Him, we should be content to simply obey, yet often times we are not. It is in those times that we make decisions that affect us for the rest of our lives. For King Saul, his rebellion to God cost him favor with God:
“For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.”
1 Samuel 15:23
God gave Saul a direct order & had good reason for doing so. Exodus 17:16 says that the Amalekites were against the Lord & His people for generation to generation. In Saul’s rebellion, his decision to spare the Amalekites King & animals, he gave the devil a stronghold not only in his own life, but in the lives of the Israelites.
I don’t know about you, but I love my life, my family & my writing ministry. I don’t want to lose it all because of my own rebellion. When God asks me to let go of something, I want my heart to be so tender & ready to obey, that I don’t even hesitate. I don’t want to keep doing the very thing that He asks me to let go of, while claiming that I’m doing it for Him. Pride always comes before a fall.
To disobey God, to offer our lives & ministries as sacrifices to God, when He’s called us to lay them aside, is a slap in His face. It’s an act of deliberate rebellion. To obey God, to freely let go of all that He is asking of us, means to trust that all He has given & taken back, will be given to us when He deems us ready to receive it & walk in it. Hearing “no” now, doesn’t mean it’s “no” forever.
You may read the full scripture passage by clicking here: 1 Samuel 15